An Abbreviated Glossary of Critical Thinking Concepts and Terms critical thinking: Everybody thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or down-right prejudiced. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought through critical thinking must be systematically cultivated. A well-cultivated critical thinker: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively; comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be their assumptions, implications, and consequences; and communicates effectively with others figuring out solutions to complex problems. Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking.
Debunker A debunker is a person who attempts to expose or discredit claims believed to be false, exaggerated or pretentious. The term is closely associated with skeptical investigation of controversial topics such as U.F.O.s, claimed paranormal phenomena, cryptids, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine, religion, or exploratory or fringe areas of scientific or pseudoscientific research. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to "debunk" is defined as: To expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).To reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), esp. by ridicule: "comedy takes delight in debunking heroes". If debunkers are not careful, their communications may backfire – increasing an audience's long-term belief in myths.
Thinking Futures – Futures Methods There are a range of futures methods available to use. The links below will take to you information about methods that have been organised using the Generic Foresight Process, developed by Dr Joseph Voros. Joe describes the model helps to identify and separate out the stages that precede decision making about possible strategic options - that is, the strategic thinking hase of strategy development. The model highlights the need to use four stages, each with its own methods, in strategy development: thinking skills There is no logic in connecting an office copier with 'nose'. That is to say, there is no 'logic' in our normal undertanding of logic. This understanding is based on passive surface information systems. There is, however, the logic of active surface information systems, and that is the logic of a patterning system. In such a system, the putting together of 'copier' with the random input 'nose' is perfectly logical.
Analysis paralysis Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution. The phrase describes a situation where the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by enacting some decision, or an informal or non-deterministic situation where the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus preventing a decision.
Analytical Thinking: Why You Need It and How to Get Better Analytical thinking skills are critical in the work place because they help you to gather information, articulate, visualize and solve complex problems. Even with comprehensive training, there will be many times where you will be put on the spot to think analytically and the right or wrong answer could make a difference with regard to your upward mobility within the company. You want your employees and especially your boss to trust that you will make the most well-informed and correct decisions. Some decisions can even make or break your career. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have well-developed analytical thinking skills. Skepticism Skepticism or scepticism (see American and British English spelling differences) is generally any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere. Philosophical skepticism is an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence. Classical philosophical skepticism derives from the 'Skeptikoi', a school who "asserted nothing". Adherents of Pyrrhonism, for instance, suspend judgment in investigations. Skeptics may even doubt the reliability of their own senses. Religious skepticism, on the other hand, is "doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)". Definition In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (UK) (Greek: 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to think, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to: Philosophical skepticism Scientific skepticism
Scientific Observation - Collecting Empirical Evidence Scientific observation is the central element of scientific method or process. The core skill of scientist is to make observation. Observation consists of receiving knowledge of the outside world through our senses, or recording information using scientific tools and instruments. Any data recorded during an experiment can be called an observation. The Scientific Process A scientific process or scientific method requires observations of nature and formulating and testing the hypothesis. Cognitive traps for intelligence analysis This article deals with a subset of the intellectual process of intelligence analysis itself, as opposed to intelligence analysis management, which in turn is a subcomponent of intelligence cycle management. For a complete hierarchical list of articles in this series, see the intelligence cycle management hierarchy. Intelligence analysis is plagued by many of the cognitive traps also encountered in other disciplines. The first systematic study of the specific pitfalls lying between an intelligence analyst and clear thinking was carried out by Dick Heuer. According to Heuer, these traps may be rooted either in the analyst's organizational culture or his or her own personality.
Student Publication: Critical Thinking and Reflection Slide Show “Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions.” – Adrienne Rich Students find more opportunities to thrive when offered more ways to reflect on their learning, and more ways to provide evidence of their learning. Many students (and instructors) may be steeped in the world of The Academic Essay, but there are many more ways for students to explore their discipline and demonstrate their scholarship–and many more ways for you, the instructor, to offer varied, interesting and useful assignments. Many forms of Alternative Scholarship can be found on the iTeachU site
Scientific skepticism Carl Sagan, originator of the expression scientific skepticism Scientific skepticism (also spelled scepticism) is the practice of questioning whether claims are supported by empirical research and have reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". For example, Robert K. Merton asserts that all ideas must be tested and are subject to rigorous, structured community scrutiny (see Mertonian norms). About the term and its scope Conceptual thinking Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology | Cognitive Psychology:Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking - Cognitive processesCognition - OutlineIndex This article is in need of attention from a psychologist/academic expert on the subject.Please help recruit one, or improve this page yourself if you are qualified.This banner appears on articles that are weak and whose contents should be approached with academic caution Conceptual thinking can be a valuable analytic or problem solving tool in any field; for instance, Environment Canada in a note on “competencies meteorologists” defines it as follows: Conceptual thinking requires an openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore.
Open-minded inquiry Abstract This is a brief guide to the ideal of open-minded inquiry by way of a survey of related notions. Making special reference to the educational context, the aim is to offer teachers an insight into what it would mean for their work to be influenced by this ideal, and to lead students to a deeper appreciation of open-minded inquiry. Predictably Irrational Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions is a 2008 book by Dan Ariely, in which he challenges readers' assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. Ariely explains, "My goal, by the end of this book, is to help you fundamentally rethink what makes you and the people around you tick. I hope to lead you there by presenting a wide range of scientific experiments, findings, and anecdotes that are in many cases quite amusing. Once you see how systematic certain mistakes are--how we repeat them again and again--I think you will begin to learn how to avoid some of them". The book is unique in that it offers a down-to-earth descriptions of rigorous academic research that is described in a very appealing and accessible manner. Chapter summary Ariely discusses many modes of thinking and situations that may skew the traditional rational choice theory.